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Author Topic:   Drilling Holes in SS Bow Rails
gnrgunner posted 07-19-2002 08:14 AM ET (US)   Profile for gnrgunner   Send Email to gnrgunner  
Just bought the wrap-around Super Sport Rails for my 13' Sport from CMI Marine. However, to my dismay and surprise, I discovered that the holes had not been pre-drilled and that it is virtually impossible to drill the holes myself using a regular drill. How should I go about getting these holes drilled. Also, has anyone else bought rails from CMI and had similar problems?


Bigshot posted 07-19-2002 09:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Titanium or carbide bit. Normal bits will take about a 1/2 a hole. titanium maybe 10 minutes.
Jerry Townsend posted 07-19-2002 10:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jerry Townsend  Send Email to Jerry Townsend     
Brad - with any tubing, your big problem will be centering the hole. I use a 'V block' with a hole drilled dead center and square in the bottom of the 'V'. A tool or machinist supply outfit should have the V blocks. Simply clamp the V-block to the rail tubing with vise grips exactly where you want the hole and go to it. As far as the bit is concerned - use carbide tipped, cobalt (these will cut even when hot), or perhaps the titanium bit. Take it easy and don't force it. Use about a 1/4 in (or smaller) diameter hole in the V-block guide. ---- Jerry/Idaho
CarlRobert posted 07-19-2002 11:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for CarlRobert    

I've drilled through those SS tees with a 3/8 hand drill.

Buy the finest Titanium bit you can afford. You get what you pay for in drill bits. You will be amazed at how quickly a good Titanium bit will drill through the SS. There is no comparison, in my opinion, between Titanium and Carbide tipped bits.


ewalsh posted 07-19-2002 01:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for ewalsh  Send Email to ewalsh     

I would have the railings welded - Outrage Style!

No more wobbly railings from loose screws


Boston Marine posted 07-19-2002 04:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for Boston Marine    
Don't listen to them. Just use a COLBALT bit,oil, and very slow drill speed. So slow that you can count the rpm of the drill. This will get you through just fine

My 1,000,000 worth

Highwater posted 07-19-2002 10:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for Highwater    
The reason you might want slow RPMs is because stainless is more difficult to cut through when it is hot than when it is cold. So if your bit is the right kind of bit, you can go fast and cut through the tubing before it gets hot. It might also help a little to do the job in the shade or at night.
Boston Marine posted 07-19-2002 11:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for Boston Marine    
Wrong answer. The right answer is,keep the bit cool. The colbalt bit prefers to shave the metal. I used this method last year to bore through 1 inch thick stainless in four different locations. I had a neat twistie of stainlesss about a foot long before it would break and start a new one. Believe me,my method is correct.
JimU posted 07-22-2002 12:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for JimU  Send Email to JimU     
This isn't brain surgery or even rocket Science. I'v drilled many holes in ss tubing and fittings. Use a center punch and a 3/8 drill motor with titanium or cobalt bit ( commercial grade) Best bet is to go to a screw products industrial hardware dealer.Get a couple of carbide thread cutters. Helps to use a vee block if you are mechanically challenged. A drill press is best but a hand drill is ok. You might slide the fitting in place and use them as a guide for the holes in the tubing. Ive use the latter technique ti drill a couple of dozen holes when i built the bow and side rails for a 16-7. Go slow. It's a piece of cake. JIM
Tim Ehlers posted 07-22-2002 09:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tim Ehlers  Send Email to Tim Ehlers     
Cobalt and cutting oil or light oil. Slow speed. V-block with center hole sounds like good idea. At least center punch. Titanium is just an oxide coating. Cobalt is still cobalt steel alloy I think. I just got done drilling lots of ss plate and a console rail. I was toasting my new cobalt bits with my cordless drill because bad switch no longer has slow speed. I got out the old corded drill when my battery was low on the cordless and voila, slow speed plus liquid wrench as a cutting oil really helped. My bit lasted many holes. Plus I have resharpened some old bits on the grinder and with slow speed and oil have gotten many holes out of them as well in 16 ga. ss. Tim

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